Outgoing Chief Of Staff John Kelly Undermines Trump’s Wall And Immigration Claims

Kelly

President Donald Trump’s obsession with a border wall and his claims about immigration were undermined by his outgoing White House chief of staff John Kelly during an exit interview this week.

As we all know, Trump shut the government down over a week ago because Congress did not give him $5 billion for his vanity project on the southern border, and he has been whining on Twitter about it ever since, complete with all sorts of false or misleading claims about immigrants and immigration.

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But Kelly undercut his soon to be former boss during an interview with the Los Angeles Times, starting with whether Trump’s wall is actually a wall.

“To be honest, it’s not a wall,” Kelly said, directly contradicting Trump.

“The president still says ‘wall’ — oftentimes frankly he’ll say ‘barrier’ or ‘fencing,’ now he’s tended toward steel slats,” Kelly continued. “But we left a solid concrete wall early on in the administration, when we asked people what they needed and where they needed it.”

So Trump abandoned the idea of an actual wall long before he started describing the barrier as steel slats.

Kelly even contradicted Trumps claim that Border Patrol wants a wall.

“They said, ‘Well we need a physical barrier in certain places, we need technology across the board, and we need more people,’” the retired Marine general said.

So, it sounds like Border Patrol doesn’t wall a full wall across the border as Trump seems to be contending. They just want barriers erected in certain places, but would rather have more technology and people on the ground.

That’s because a wall will not work to stop people from crossing the border or entering the United States, nor will it stop drugs.

Most illegal drugs that enter the country come through legal ports of entry, which makes technology the better option to bust smugglers. Furthermore, people can go around the wall by boat or fly over it by plane, and most illegal immigrants are here because they overstayed their temporary visas after entering legally through a port of entry.

Kelly went on to duck a question about whether there’s a real border security crisis or if Trump is just making one up, only saying that “We do have an immigration problem.”

But that ignores the fact that illegal immigration is at a record low that began during the Obama administration. And if immigration is such a problem, giving Border Patrol the technology and manpower to deal with it would do more to improve things than any wall. With so many migrants seeking asylum, more manpower is required to process the claims to prevent long lines and even more desperation.

Kelly even demolished Trump’s characterization of illegal immigrants as “criminals.”

“Illegal immigrants, overwhelmingly, are not bad people,” he said.

Indeed, multiple studies show that undocumented immigrants are less likely to commit a crime than a natural born American citizen.

And in one final knockout blow to Trump’s wall, Kelly said that in his experience the best way to stop illegal immigration is to fix the reason why migrants are leaving their homeland.

“If you want to stop illegal immigration, stop U.S. demand for drugs, and expand economic opportunity,” he said.

For years, the United States has greatly contributed to the instability of Central American nations people are fleeing. Fixing that means providing more aid and support and dealing with drug epidemics such as the opioid crisis here at home. Even weakening the Mexican cartels by legalizing drugs such as marijuana would go a long way to stop drugs from being smuggled in.

John Kelly literally just weakened Trump’s main arguments for a border wall, and revealed that his wall has been a farce all along as most Americans have already known. If Trump wants to secure the border, the best way to do it is to end the government shutdown and abandon his ego wall in favor of increased spending on border security for technology and manpower that Congress has already approved.

 

Featured Image: White House Photo